by Max Barry

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The Federal Oligarchy of
New York Times Democracy

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An Excerpt from Peter Van Doornís ďGuide to ProfitĒ

An excerpt from Oligarch Peter Van Doornís latest best-selling book, the ďGuide to ProfitĒ, a book filled with rules and tips for profitable transactions and economic mobility in Blanjiland.

Tips 1-100
1. War is good for business.
2. Peace is good for business.
3. It never hurts to listen to a stupid idea, but it does hurt to turn down a good idea.
4. Time is like a paycheck; value it.
5. If itís too good to be true, it most definitely is.
6. A good Swadenian is one strapped for cash.
7. Never let personal beliefs stop you from making a quick Blanj.
8. If you want to make people think youíre rich, build your house out of plywood.
9. Sometimes itís better to think long term.
10. Even though theyíre Latverian, remember - they have the oil.
11. Every once and a while, give your employees an unexpected payraise - youíll be surprised the next week.
12. Donít let language stop you from turning over a good profit.
13. Buy out smaller companies, but remember; eventually youíll run out.
14. The bigger the smile, the sharper the knife.
15. If a Keepan offers you 10 pounds, run.
16. If youíre going to deceive, keep your story straight.
17. Keep your employees smart and your customers smarter.
18. Risk doesnít always equal reward.
19. Keep the past in the past.
20. Every man has his price.
21. If you want to keep your head, pander.
22. Itís better to lose a Blanj then all your Blanjs.
23. Offshore banks are your friend.
24. Three 1%s are better than one 3%.
25. Diversify.
26. If you can imagine it, you can sell it.
27. At the end of the day, someoneís made a profit.
28. Free is never free.
29. Ignorance is bliss.
30. Always know who youíre selling to and what youíre selling.
31. If you believe it, they believe it.
32. Donít be afraid to sell your conscience.
33. Even a socialist can be bargained with.
34. No good deed ever goes unpunished.
35. A bargain usually isn't.
36. Donít be afraid to outsource.
37. Mercenaries exist for a reason.
38. A man may be religious, but youíll be surprised how fast that can change.
39. Liberty is profit.
40. Security is profit.
41. Treat your boss like family.
42. Your employees are just like customers, so keep Ďem coming.
43. Poverty is nothing compared to a poor reputation.
44. Always have a backup plan.
45. Never get into anything that you can't get out of.
46. Never gamble with an American.
47. Thereís a reason risk and reward both start with R.
48. Invest early, enjoy the benefits later.
49. If you sow the wind, youíll reap the whirlwind.
50. Thereís always a bigger fish.
51. Every once in a while, declare peace.
52. The Medicans are only as fierce as their wallets.
53. Sell your lies as truth.
54. To reject science is to reject profit.
55. Do your homework.
56. See all, believe nothing.
56. Exploit your neighbors, but never your home.
57. Afgeristan, despite how backwater is is, still makes a profit.
58. Never be afraid to spill some mercenaryís blood.
59. Offshore only when you know a Blanji robot canít do it better.
60. Patriotism is easily exploitable.
61. Only a Swadenian deals in absolutes.
62. Itís not illegal if you donít get caught.
63. The internet knows you better than you. Take advantage of this.
64. Itís usually fine for some light swearing, if it helps get your damn point across.
65. Let your guard down every once and a while.
66. Listen.
67. If you donít know what youíre doing, fake it until you do.
68. Itís never too late for a bathroom break.
69. No company has colonized Mars yet. Get to work.
70. There is no substitute for success.
71. Never confuse wisdom with luck.
72. Donít spend a Blanj on anything the Government already covers.
73. Anything worth doing is worth doing for money.
74. Respect your agreements.
75. Hone your inner bullshit detector.
76. A robot does the work of a dozen employees for nothing other than the initial cost.
77. If you fear for your life, videoconferences are always an option.
78. A jack of all trades is a master of everything.
79. Stay in character.
80. Tradition is never an excuse to continue doing anything that hinders profit.
81. Know your audience; youíre an entertainer, not a lecturer.
82. You can learn a thing or two from a used car salesman, not matter who you are.
83. Practice what you preach; no one deals with a hypocrite.
84. Confidentiality equals profit.
85. Exaggerate your estimates, it keeps the shareholders happy.
86. Sell the sizzle, not the steak.
87. Only a fool passes up a business opportunity.
88. The government serves you, all they expect is you make a profit.
89. Value your health like you value your Blanjs.
90. Statistically, second guessing yourself only makes yourself look worse.
91. An Ulmian is a better friend than any Oligarch.
92. Trust only your shareholders.
93. Donít be afraid to change what language youíre speaking in mid-sentence - it helps throw off your customers.
94. Sell yourself to anybody and anyone.
95. Lobbying is your best friend.
96. Politics is too serious for politicians, which is why we have oligarchs.
97. Donít forget to proclaim ďBlanjiland is Best LandĒ in the presence of any government official.
98. Only a maniac moves to the colonies, Blanjiland is where the profit is.
99. Never cheat a Oligarch, unless you're sure you can get away with it.
100. If you can't take it with you, don't go.